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Hermann Fechenbach was born on January 1, 1897 in Bad Mergentheim (Wurttemberg) into a Jewish family. In August 1917 he was involved in a grenade attack which led to the loss of his left leg. His formal art education started in 1918 with training at a Stuttgart handcraft school for invalids. He attended the Academies in Stuttgart and Munich to learn painting and restoration for 3 years. He was influenced at this time by Max Liebermann. Every spring and autumn since 1924, he exhibited at the Kunstgebäude (art building) in Stuttgart which served as the showcase for all serious artists of the Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity). In 1930 he married the photographer Greta Batze and they taught art to students in their studio until Nazi pressure forced them to take refuge in England. Fechenbach was interned in the Isle of Man, where he produced a powerful series of anti-Nazi lino-cuts. Settled in Oxford in 1941 he came under the sponsorship of Dr. Bela Horovitz, the Austrian art publisher. Fechenbach had his first London exhibition at the Anglo-Palestinian Club in 1944. In the mid-1940s he exhibited at Ben Uri Gallery, which holds examples in its collection. In 1969 he published “Genesis”, illustrated with 137 prints, and in 1972 the partly autobiographical work “The last Jews of Mergentheim” appeared. He died in 1986 in Denham, Buckinghamshire (United Kingdom).
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Fechenbach, Hermann, 1897-1986: Moses breaking the tablets of the law, Leo Baeck Institute Art and Objects Collection, 78.612.
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